MS-13 is one of the most dangerous gangs out there. They’re brutal killers, and their reach stretches throughout North and South America. There have even been concerns about them working with terrorist groups. They’re a scary bunch.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) has introduced legislation that would strip the citizenship of naturalized citizens found to be members of the notorious gang.
Called the Protecting Our Communities from Gang Violence Act, it would open the door for deportation and other penalties not applicable to American citizens:
We must do all in our power to stop MS-13 & gang violence. That’s why I introduced the Protecting Our Communities from Gang Violence Act, HR 5065, to revoke the naturalization of those involved in gang activity prior to or w/in 10 yrs of being naturalized. https://t.co/v6ORhYoGiO
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) February 20, 2018
In a statement, Zeldin said: “From the vicious machete attack of four young men in Central Islip, to the childhood best friends brutally murdered by MS-13 in Brentwood, our community has witnessed the indiscriminate brutality of gang violence firsthand.” He added, “Every level of government has a role to play in combating the rise of MS-13 and other gangs, and we must crack down on the aspects of our nation’s broken immigration system and other policies that have allowed MS-13 and other gangs to take hold in our communities and stay there.”
I think it’s fair to say that the bill faces some stiff opposition.
I can’t help but wonder if this would pass the “equal protection” test. After all, it targets one specific group, rather than others accused of similar crimes. MS-13 isn’t the only criminal gang with Hispanic members, after all. While they may be the most vicious, it still seems other immigrant gang members are going to skate under this bill.
Zeldin said, “United States naturalization is a privilege not a right, and those who have had this privilege bestowed upon them must respect and uphold the laws of our land.”
I don’t disagree. However, I do think that once you have citizenship, you do have rights. That includes the laws applying to anyone and everyone. This bill creates two classes of citizens.